Before it’s Friday again

Ok, so this is last week’s cat blog. Or, rather, Cat/Dog/Christmas blog.

(click for full versions of photos; thumbnails are usually cropped oddly. Because my teachers told me to. Thanks, Rich!)

ArG is first up. It is, after all, still cat blogging Friday. Even if it isn’t Friday anymore. I took the pictures Friday, but it’s been a little busy around here, okay? What with the large live tree, the puppy, the scads of outdoor lights, and a houseful of people every night. Gods, I love The Holidays.

The dog–who had many many visitors come especially to see him this weekend–is doing well. He appears to be a bit larger, and a great deal more… curious about his new surroundings. His favorite game is chase-the-cat. So far, we have been careful to allow her ‘safe’ zones in the house, and so far it seems to be working out well. They briefly snuggled against one another Friday night, and Puppy is never more excited than he is when he first sees the Kitty in the morning. There is hope.

Most of these pictures were taken while he was in T’s lap. Her lap was the best this time around, though C’s lap also held fierce interest. Boy, does GtG love laps! And fingers! And fuzzy things! This is how excited the puppy is! All the time! It’s impressive. And frightening. I would hate to
be responsible for his daily entertainment. He needs constant socialization, even when you’d rather sleep or surf the ‘net or play video games. Ahem.

He is well aware of how adorable people find him. He tries all sorts of shit he shouldn’t and then follows it with a look like one of these, half austere playboy, half darling babe. And then he falls asleep gnawing your fingers or curled up with his footy snowman, and you just die a bit inside. Even I like him a little, when he’s not pooping or peeing somewhere that he shouldn’t. Or whining like a little bitch. Or chomping down like your fingers are made of liver. Or biting the cat’s tail. In general, he is acceptable for what he is–a 10-week-old puppy, but that wasn’t exactly what I wanted for Christmas.

Mmmmm… Christmas. Or $holiday, if you prefer. I know it may sound strange, but I don’t particularly relate ‘Christmas’ to any Christian bits. For a while, I was militant about using ‘Christmas’ since it was no longer my holiday and I didn’t want to represent as something I wasn’t, but I’ve given
up on that bit of obnoxiousness. Christmas doesn’t have to be about Christianity, regardless of what the half-cocked lunatics (Bill O’Reilly comes to mind) say. I know the tired refrain, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” but, well, I don’t so much buy that. I mean, sure, back in the day when the Christians wanted to spread their religion, and adopted the pagan Solstice-time as their birth-celebration (even if Christ was born in the spring, bah!), it was an attempt to turn this season’s revelers towards Cristos. But as good as the Christian Church is at these sorts of things (see, marriage!), the Media with it’s internets and magazines and sound bites… is much better. Mothers wishing for their babies to come home for the holidays, dreaming of generational traditions — also more daunting than long-ago edicts. The holidays are Christmas and Kwaanza and Hanukah and Solstice and Yule and a host of other things — tiny, familial things, traditions like egg nog and getting up early, and sleeping in the bed with mom and dad so you can press your cold toes against their calves and ask — unendingly — ‘is it time to get up yet?’

The holidays at our house are about putting some hot chocolate in a thermos and going out to the tree farm. It’s about having some strapping young man in tight jeans load that 9-foot fir into the truck bed. It’s about arguing over the lights, and hanging the Big Gay Ornament and sniffing the Angel
Butt. It’s making cookies and chex mix, spicing cider and wine, and talking to the neighbors for perhaps the first time all year. It’s having your friends over for dinner, and watching ‘Rudolph’ just like you did when you were six years old. It’s wishing salespeople ‘Happy Holidays’ and actually meaning it. It’s finding the perfect crazy present for your friends, even if it’s a impressionistic painted cow that someone else already bought. It’s about sleeping in, wearing your fuzzy jammies all day long, and letting your best friend have the last piece of cashew brittle even though it’s your very favorite.

And then there are the lights. Dear gods above and below, the lights. We are one of approximately 2 houses on our block with non-white lights. Most places where we live do it up with classy white lights, greenery and bows of an appropriate color for their trim. Not us. Multicolors. Blinky. An army of plastic snowmen and a giant illuminated Santa. We get lots of drive-bys, and many children whose parents stop so they can press their noses against the glass and stare. That’s my favorite part. I’m out in the yard, grimy and cold and sweaty, with pinestraw in my hair, replacing the thirty-millionth light to have blown out or been crunched underfoot, and I’ll see a minivan slow to a stop out in front. And suddenly I don’t care anymore, I just smile and wave and the people inside smile and wave, and we all feel good and warm and happy. And THAT, friends, is Christmas. It’s not Christ, it’s not 8 nights long long ago. It’s not midnight mass or Angel Butt. Sure, if you want, you can keep those traditions at heart and at hand… noone’s ever going to stop you. But let’s not, for the love of what’s yours, shush the non-secular Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men that the season does encompass. I’ll take everyone’s Christmas, please. And a double helping of gingerbread.

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